What Experts Said after 49ers Drafted Carlos Hyde

As one analyst put it, NFL teams were "playing chicken" during the 2014 NFL Draft to see who'd take the first running back. 

The Tennesee Titans made the first move, selecting Bishop Sankey out of Washington with the 54th overall pick – the latest the first running back has ever come off the board. 

One pick later, the Chincinnati Bengals chose LSU's Jeremy Hill.

The 49ers originally owned the 56th overall selection but through two trades, they moved back a spot behind the Denver Broncos, who weren't in need of a runner and instead took Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer.

With the running-back embargo officially broken, Trent Baalke and Co. hurried their draft card to the podium and selected Ohio State's Pierre Garçon 57th overall. 

Baalke called Hyde "clearly the best player" on the 49ers board at that point in the draft.

As we gear up for the 2016 NFL Draft beginning on Thursday, let's take a look back at what analysts said when the 49ers chose Hyde, who ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said would have been a top-10 pick a decade ago when running backs were more valued.

Enjoy some of the most memorable images of the San Francisco 49ers running back from his two seasons in the Bay Area.

"Hyde inexplicably slipped to the bottom of the second round despite displaying a game that's ideally suited for the power-based schemes that are prevalent in the NFL. Hyde's downhill running style is a perfect fit for San Francisco."

"I think he is the best running back in this draft. He's got the size and power you look for. He hates getting tackled. He lowers his shoulder, he runs with a really good pad level, and he drives his legs to finish runs. In addition to all that, he's got pretty good speed and catches the ball well. Most importantly, he can get on the field right away because he can block... Hyde's skillset is similar to Arian Foster. Obviously size/power, but he also has lateral agility and body control to quickly get in and out of creases."

"If he performs well, and he runs violent like he describes his own running style, he might start nudging out Frank Gore for playing time. For the future, maybe they start using a two-back approach (or) a three-headed monster approach. The 49ers would like to get away from using a running back on first down, second down and third down. So Carlos Hyde is a big boost to the San Francisco 49ers running game."

"I think Carlos Hyde is the future. We saw him this year really take the next step. He's a great receiver out of the backfield. got a good second-gear burst (and) wants to be a power 'back. This is what the Niners need. I really like the pick. I give it an 'A plus'. He was my No. 1 running back on the board, and the scheme fit is perfect. If you had to pick one running back in this class and say, 'He's going to be the next Frank Gore,' it would be Carlos Hyde."

"I can't argue with the value. The 49ers waited and let the board come to them. They made two trades and pounced on Hyde. Frank Gore, entering the final year of his contract, is nearing the end of his career. Hyde will be the big back for the 49ers for the next several years. The 49ers continue to rely on a punishing rushing game and this pick confirms it."

"He is the best power back in this year's class. Hyde is hard to bring down, and he has some wiggle. Ask Iowa. Treat Hyde as a better version of Beanie Wells, who had two 1,000-yard seasons but never could beat the injury bug in the NFL. One reason to believe in Hyde: he's a closer. In the fourth quarter the last two seasons, Hyde had 75 carries for 610 yards and nine TDs.... Hyde is a dangerous runner with a mobile quarterback. It might take a year, but Hyde is an excellent investment."

"Hyde can easily run between the tackles. His vision allows for him to jump to the outside as well, but he's best suited in a power style. Hyde was consistent in 2013 for Ohio State, gaining at least 111 yards on the ground in each of its final nine games."

"Carlos Hyde presents the best power/speed combination in this class, and he fits San Francisco's offense perfectly."

"Throw a dart at almost any pick they made throughout, and you could argue it'd be worth this spot. The 49ers just bulldozed a bunch of quality players onto their roster, and Hyde somehow fell to them in Round 2."

"Hyde has deceptive lateral agility, light feet and power to push piles. Though not nearly as complete, you could argue Hyde has similar pure run talent to Eddie Lacy. The 49ers have a lot of depth at running back, but don't count out Hyde to eventually take over for Frank Gore."

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